What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is a serious health condition that can cause changes in the skin cells of the breast, leading to pain, tenderness, and discomfort. While it is usually painless, it is important to be aware of any signs or symptoms that could be related to breast cancer. The most common symptom is a new lump or mass, although most lumps are not cancerous. A hard, painless mass with irregular edges is more likely to be cancerous, but breast cancers can also be soft, round, tender, or even painful.

It is important to know what your breasts normally look and feel like so that you can recognize any changes. Factors such as menstruation, having children, losing or gaining weight, and taking certain medications can affect the way your breasts look and feel. Therefore, it is important to visit a doctor if you are concerned about any pain, tenderness, or lumps in your breasts. Common tests that doctors can perform include mammograms (low-dose breast x-rays) which can help detect a breast tumor before it causes symptoms and when the cancer is more easily treated.

Advances in chemotherapy have made it less common for people to need surgery after initial treatment for breast cancer. Mammograms are the most reliable way to detect breast cancer early according to the American Cancer Society. The most common symptom is a breast lump which can be located anywhere on the chest wall up to below the armpit. Changes in the surface of the breast caused by inflammatory breast cancer can be seen with the naked eye.

However, mammograms do not detect all types of breast cancer. If there is a recurrence of breast cancer in the same place as the first one, the symptoms will be very similar to those of the first one. The doctor may request a mammogram to help distinguish between a benign mass and a malignant one.

Tonya Sharrai
Tonya Sharrai

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